Various Artists

DJ-Kicks: The Exclusives [2006]

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In commemoration of the 25th release in the popular, generally first-rate DJ-Kicks series, !K7 released a special edition, The Exclusives, which compiles 14 of the productions exclusive to the series. For each release in the decade-old series, the Berlin-based label propositions the featured DJ to include a self-production, and an unmixed sampling of those productions is what's compiled here. Since these songs are all previously released, The Exclusives is somewhat superfluous, especially for anyone who already owns numerous editions of the series. After all, if you're a fan of the featured artists here, chances are you'll want to get their respective mixes before you bother with a sampler like this. Then again, some may prefer to start here with a sampler like this, especially if one isn't familiar with the various artists. Either way, the package is a delight, as has come to be expected with this series: The Exclusives comes in a small box, including lobby cards for each of the individual editions represented. Highlights are plentiful, beginning with some downtempo (Kruder & Dorfmeister, DJ Cam, Thievery Corporation), drifting toward an abundance of breakbeats (Trüby Trio, Vikter Duplaix), and then perking up with some playful dance-pop (Playgroup, Tiga, Erlend Øye, Annie) before concluding with ten minutes of moody techno (Carl Craig).

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